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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Federal Budget includes $18 billion dollar deficit Reply with quote

( budget day in Ottawa , seemingly endless amount of spending , more debt and a bigger deficit than promised )

Highlights from federal budget 2018

CTV National News: Big spending plans

The federal budget is forecasting an 18.1 billion dollar deficit but there isn't a timetable to balance the books. Joyce Napier reports.

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:27PM EST

Budget 2018 federal deficits and surplus

OTTAWA -- Highlights from the federal Liberal budget tabled Tuesday by Finance Minister Bill Morneau:

-- "Proactive" pay equity legislation, as well as $3 million over five years for a "pay transparency" measure, to close the wage gap among federal workers and in federally regulated sectors, impacting some 1.2 million people.

-- The "Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare," to be headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins, which will explore ways to establish a national drug program.

-- $3.2 billion over five years for Canadian science and research, including money for granting councils and Canada Research Chairs, upgrading outdated laboratory facilities and harnessing the power of "Big Data."

-- $2.6 billion over five years for a wide array of measures to encourage and foster scientific innovation and gender equality in the field, including encouraging female entrepreneurs and business leaders, revamping procurement and expanding access to broadband internet.

-- A federal deficit of $18.1 billion, including a $3-billion "risk adjustment," down from $19.3 billion last year, that's projected to decline slowly over the next several years, reaching $12.3 billion ($9.3 billion without the $3-billion cushion) by 2022-23.

-- About $1.4 billion over six years to support Indigenous children in foster care and promote family reunification, plus $400 million over 10 years to upgrade and expand Inuit housing and $500 million for Metis housing.

-- Higher excise taxes on tobacco products, including a $1 increase on a carton of 200 cigarettes and an adjustment that would see taxes increase with inflation every year, rather than every five years.

-- $1.2 billion over five years and $344.7 million a year afterward for a new employment insurance parental sharing benefit that would provide additional "use-it-or-lose-it" benefits for non-birthing parents to encourage women to re-enter the workforce.

-- $2 billion over five years for international aid through a new International Assistance Innovation program, designed to come up with flexible new financing arrangements, and the Sovereign Loans program.

-- $155.2 million over five years for a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and $116 million over five years for the RCMP to create a National Cybercrime Co-ordination Unit.

-- $448.5 million over five years to double the number of placements under the Canada Summer Jobs program by 2019-20.

-- $172 million over five years and $42.5 million a year afterward for the Canada Media Fund to foster the growth of Canadian-produced content.

-- $50 million over five years to support "local journalism in underserved communities," and plans to explore new models that would allow private and philanthropic support for "non-profit" journalism, including allowing Canadian newspapers to receive charitable status.

-- $75 million over five years, with $11.8 million a year afterward, to bolster Canada's trade ties with China and Asia.

-- $191 million over five years to support jobs in the softwood lumber industry, including litigation under the World Trade Organization and NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism.

-- $90.6 million over five years to track down tax evaders and avoiders, plus $41.9 million over five years and $9.3 million a year thereafter to help Canada's courts deal with the additional caseload.

-- Changes to income sprinkling, passive investment income and the small business tax rate that are expected to save the government $925 million a year by 2022-23.

-- $173.2 million in 2018-19 to support claim processing and to improve border security to better manage the increased number of people seeking asylum in Canada.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Budget 2018: Liberals stay the course on spending, deficit projected at $18.1 billion in 2018-19

Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:26AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:12PM EST

OTTAWA -- The federal government is putting an emphasis on gender equality in the 2018 budget, but proposes only modest new spending as Canada’s economy continues to perform well.
• REPLAY: CTV News special coverage of 2018 Federal Budget

The 2018 budget focuses on increasing the number of women in the workforce, and also emphasizes investments in technology and research.

Total new spending over the next year comes in at $5.4 billion, of $338.5 billion in overall planned spending.

The federal government is projecting an $18.1 billion deficit in 2018-19, dropping to $17.5 billion in 2019-20.

During the last federal election the Liberals pledged to not run deficits over $10 billion and said they’d return to balance by 2019, a promise their own numbers now indicate will not be kept.

Canada’s federal debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall from 30.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 30.1 per cent in 2018-19.

The GDP growth rate is projected to slow from 3.0 per cent in 2017, to 2.2 per cent in 2018, bottoming out at 1.6 per cent in 2019.

Budget 2018 includes a $3 billion adjustment for risk in 2018-19 and following years.

"The government numbers show that the pace of economic growth in the economy is going to slow, and this is going to limit their tax revenues. This is one of the reasons why this is a very modest budget," said Conference Board of Canada’s Craig Alexander. "Their fiscal projections really haven’t changed from last year; they’re on the same course that they were on before."

In the 370-page document, the government offers no direct response to uncertainty in the country about the fate of NAFTA and the competitive corporate tax rates in the United States.

In his remarks to reporters inside the budget lockup, Morneau registered the concern and didn’t rule out future measures to address the loss of competitiveness.

“We’re looking at how we can have a really good long-term impact, and I will say that we are doing it in a fiscally-responsible way… which allows us to deal with the challenges that we may face,” Morneau said.

Economists view the 2018 budget, titled: “Equality and Growth for a Strong Middle Class”, as a largely status quo spending plan.

“I would characterize it as a stay the course budget, sort of a stock-taking prior to next year’s political budget; that will be the one to watch,” said Fred O’Riordan, leader in tax policy for Ernst & Young LLP.

Informed by gender-based analysis from each and every government department for the first time in Canadian history the federal budget and all measures proposed have been assessed for how they will impact men and women differently.

Money for female entrepreneurs, pay equity

The federal government is hopeful that the various 2018 budget measures to encourage women’s participation in the workforce will lead to growth in the Canadian economy in coming years.

"When you look at all of the different aspects… it is saying that if you want true equality it has to go through all of the initiatives in the budget and that’s what we’re seeing here," said Claire Beckton, executive director of the Carleton University Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership.

One of the marquee gender equality-focused announcements in the federal budget: the implementation of pay equity legislation for federally regulated sectors. The pay equity legislation will be wrapped into the 2018 budget implementation bill.

This long-promised policy is aimed at closing the wage gap, making it so men and women receive equal pay for the same work. Currently in Canada, women make around 88 cents for every $1 a man earns.

In what could be viewed as a response to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the budget includes $50.4 million over five years to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Of this, $25.4 million will go to increasing legal aid funding.

The government also intends to amend the Parliament of Canada Act to make it possible for parliamentarians to take maternity and parental leave. Currently no such provision is available, leaving MPs to have to work out case-by-case leave scenarios with their parties. This is part of a bigger promise to take steps to make Parliament more family friendly.

Other measures that fit the government’s broader gender equity theme are: $86 million over five years to build on Canada’s gender-based violence strategy; $30 million over three years for research and promotion of women and girls’ participation in sport, with a goal of gender equity at all levels by 2035; and, $19.9 million over five years to pilot an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women in male-dominated trades.

In addition to multiple nominal funding to promote gender equality, the budget sets aside $105 million for a “nationally co-ordinated, regionally tailored” fund for women entrepreneurs.

“Every single decision on expenditure and tax measures was informed by GBA+,” the budget reads.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that taking steps to advance gender equality, Canada could grow its economy by $150 billion by 2026.

New plans for parental leave, pharmacare

The federal budget earmarks $1.2 billion over five years, starting in 2018-19 to introduce a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit that will provide five extra weeks of “use it or lose it” EI parental benefits when both parents share the leave. This option is expected to become available in June 2019.

In the budget, the federal Liberals announce the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare to address the affordability of prescription medication.

The council, which will be led by former Ontario health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, will “begin a national dialogue,” meeting with experts as well as Indigenous, provincial and territorial leaders to recommend a way forward. Though, no specific money is attached to this pledge.

The government is also overhauling the Working Income Tax Benefit, now being called the Canada Workers Benefit. It will take effect in 2019 and will increase the maximum benefit by up to $170, meaning in that year a low-income person earning $15,000 a year could receive up to $500 more in a tax credit than in years past.

In an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play, Morneau said the initiatives the government has brought forward in past budgets have made "an enormous difference" for women and families and he views the latest round of budgetary measures as going "a step further."

"We're just saying that an economy works if everyone has access to work opportunities, if everyone reaches their maximum potential and that's what we're trying to achieve for women because we know that what that's going to drive, is a strong economy for all Canadians," Morneau said.

Opposition take issue with key budget planks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was critical of the government’s fiscal plan.

“Justin Trudeau promised he would spend money on infrastructure that would grow the economy over the long term, but the reality is that infrastructure investments are actually being cut, things like roads, and bridges, ports and highways,” he told reporters after the budget was tabled.

"These are the facts to remember when we hear the Liberals trying to take credit for our recent economic performance or when they talk about helping families."

Scheer also said that Trudeau has failed to keep his promises to the middle class, while raising taxes on businesses.

"What he gives with one hand, he takes more with the other," he said.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh took issue with the Liberals’ plans to look at national pharmacare options. He said the NDP put forward a motion in the House earlier this year “on getting that ball rolling…and the government voted against that plan.”

"So it doesn’t show a true commitment to actually implementing pharmacare," Singh told reporters.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May said that while there are positives in the budget, and as a feminist she was pleased to see progress on pay equity and more money for science, she still thinks the government isn’t going far enough to address the impacts of climate change, and said pharmacare is the only "big new idea" included in the budget.

Other measures included in the budget:
• $5 billion over five years for Indigenous services and rights implementation, including an additional $172.6 million over three years for clean drinking water
• $4 billion over five years for Canadian researchers
• $507.7 million over five years to create a new national cyber security strategy
• $231.4 million over five years to help ongoing efforts to address the opioid crisis
• $77.2 million over four years starting in 2019-20 to expand Unified Family Courts
• $62.5 million over five years for public education initiatives on the legalization of marijuana
• $50 million over five years to support local journalism in underserved communities
• $20.3 million over five years to bring in an additional 1,000 refugee women and girls from conflict zones
• $20 million over five years to fund expert engagement on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change
• $14.51 million over five years for a national human trafficking hotline
• $6 million over two years to be repeated in pre-election and election years, to establish a new process for federal leadership debates
• $2.9 million to the federal Information Commissioner to resolve access to information request complaints
• $1 more per carton of 200 cigarettes in increased excise duty, with the tax increasing annually going forward


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the government plans to get rid of the phoenix pay system but unclear what they plan to replace it with )

Feds ready to find new pay system as price tag for Phoenix nears $1 billion

Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:20PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:52PM EST

OTTAWA -- The federal government is ready to look for a new federal pay system but is expecting to still pay into Phoenix for years to come.

Announced in the 2018 budget, the government is earmarking $16 million over the next two years to work with experts, federal public service unions and technology providers on procuring a new pay system.
• REPLAY: CTV News special coverage of 2018 Federal Budget

This decision comes as the overall price tag for the problem-plagued pay system nears $1 billion.

To date the government has spent more than $460 million to implement and triage public service pay issues. Budget 2018 includes an additional $431.4 million over six years to continue fixing Phoenix, including hiring more staff.

As well, another $5.5 million over two years is going to the Canada Revenue Agency to help all the employees who have income tax issues as a result of Phoenix.

Adding together what has been spent and what is spelled out in the 2018 budget, Phoenix is set to cost the federal government at least $912.9 million.

The budget says the government is looking for “the next generation of the federal government’s pay system that is better aligned with the complexity of the federal government pay structure.”

Last year on CTV’s Question Period, Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough first signaled that the price to triage the pay system could reach $1 billion.

Thousands of employees across Canada have had issues with their pay as a result of Phoenix, and the system is still considerably backlogged as the pay centre employees work to process hundreds of thousands of transactions.

“Serious issues and challenges with the Phoenix pay system continue, and too many federal public servants are not being properly paid,” the budget acknowledges.

The government has begun discussions with public service unions to address the numerous grievances and legal actions that have stemmed from the troubled rollout and operation of Phoenix.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feds tighten tax rules for small businesses and passive income in budget

Craig Wong, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 27, 2018 4:38PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 27, 2018 5:04PM EST

OTTAWA -- The Liberal government moved to tighten the tax rules for small businesses in the federal budget Tuesday as it fine tuned the changes that prompted an uproar last year.

However, Finance Minister Bill Morneau still faces the challenge of corporate tax cuts in the U.S. that have prompted worries that companies will choose to invest there instead of Canada.

In the budget, Morneau opted to hold the line on corporate taxes in Canada, choosing to help businesses in other ways, including with spending to help women-led businesses grow, innovation and diversification of trade.

"We know businesses are concerned about the outcome of North American Free Trade Agreement talks and tax changes in the United States," he said.

"We will be vigilant in making sure Canada remains the best place to invest, create jobs and do business -- and we will do this in a responsible and careful way, letting evidence, and not emotion, guide our decisions."

The minister faced a backlash over his initial plans to change small business taxes last year before backing down on some of the proposed changes and reviving a promise to reduce the small business tax rate.

The government had pitched the changes as a way to prevent wealthy Canadians from gaining an unfair advantage and paying less tax, but small businesses said the changes hurt the middle class.

In the budget this year, Ottawa moved to gradually eliminate the amount eligible for the preferential small business rate as the amount of passive income rises above $50,000 with the small business deduction limit reduced to zero at $150,000. It also moved to limit the advantages that some businesses can obtain when they pay certain dividends.

The changes, which will apply starting with tax years that begin in 2019, are expected to bring in $925 million a year by the 2022-23 fiscal year.

"We are changing the rules for three per cent of private corporations, because the wealthiest Canadians should not be able to use private corporations to pay less tax than the middle class," Morneau said.

Bruce Ball, vice-president of tax for CPA Canada, said he was happy that the passive income change was a simpler solution compared with other options.

"At the same time though we still believe that they should look at taxation of passive income along with a number of other changes as part of a more general tax review," he said.

To help crack down on tax cheats, the government will spend $90.6 million over five years to address additional cases that have been identified both domestically and internationally.

Ottawa is also moving to improve the tax rules to prevent what it said was typically Canadian banks and other financial institutions from gaining a tax advantage by creating artificial losses through sophisticated financial instruments. The move is expected to generate roughly $2.5 billion for the government over five years.

It said it would also clarify the application of certain rules for limited partnerships to prevent unintended tax advantages.

While the minister left the corporate tax rate unchanged, the government spending plan did include cash on several fronts to help Canadian businesses and further its key priorities including supporting women in the workforce.

The government said it will make $1.4 billion available over three years in new financing for women entrepreneurs through the Business Development Bank as well as $250 million over three years through Export Development Canada for financing and insurance for women-owned and women-led businesses.

The budget also included $105 million over five years to regional development agencies to support investment in businesses led by women and $10 million over five years to connect women with expanded export services.

To help Global Affairs Canada boost diplomatic and trade support in Asia, the budget includes up to $75 million over five years starting in 2018-19 with $11.8 million per year. The money will include boosting the number of diplomats and trade commissioners in China as well as moves to promote trade with China and other Asian markets.

The government will also provide $191 million over five years to Global Affairs Canada and Natural Resources Canada to support softwood lumber jobs through litigation under the World Trade Organization and the NAFTA dispute settlement mechanisms.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like revenue appears to be around 320 billion dollars;

That is a record in terms of federal government revenue and a stark increase over last years projected revenue of 305 billion dollars.

It is still shocking to me that on the back of record revenues the budget cannot be balanced in conjunction with modest spending.

If revenue had stayed static or even increased slightly the deficit would have been well over 30 billion, the reduction in the year over year deficit rest entirely in the back of the taxpayer and the fact that they are generating more revenue (IE Taxes) for government than at any time in history.

338 billion in spending is also a record, breaking last years mark of 330 billion.
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Federal Budget includes $18 billion dollar deficit

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